Most of the time airplanes at AirVenture are judged on the authenticity of restoration and cleanliness. Taigh Ramey, a vintage aircraft restorer and judge at last month’s show, decided to go to the other extreme with his newly-acquired Beechcraft C-45G.
“We thought we’d go after the coveted Dirty Bird Award,” he said.
Ramey recently bought the plane, which sat on the ramp at Boeing Field in Seattle for about 10 years.
“She’s a good airplane on the inside,” he said. “She just looks kind of rough on the outside, so we’re breathing new life back into her. We thought we’d bring her to Oshkosh and do the ‘anti-restoration thing’.”
The “anti-restoration thing” consisted of allowing younger visitors to fingerpaint on the plane with water-soluble paint – “with the exception of the props,” Ramey said, carefully hanging a placard with that sentiment on the propeller.
By the end of the week-long show, the old bird was covered with designs and slogans in primary colors.
According to Ramey, the on-the-spot artwork is temporary. After AirVenture, the airplane is destined for a full restoration.
“We intend to clean her up and turn her back into a military C-45G,” he said.
For more information: Twinbeech.com.